Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Health

December 7, 2013

Hope for the Holidays: Tips for coping with mental illness and addiction this time of year

(Continued)

Not dreaming of a “Blue Christmas”?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sad or hopeless for an extended period of time, and it can occur during any time of the year. It is important to know the difference in clinical depression and simply having the blues. Depression is an illness that zaps any interest in activities that used to be enjoyed. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and it is not about just feeling low or having a few bad days. A depressive disorder is an illness that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself and the way one thinks about things.

5 ways to face the holidays while depressed:

• Know depression is not a weakness and is treatable

• Volunteer to serve those in need

• Take special care of your physical health

• Change the rules and create a new ritual

• Continue healthy habits

Experiencing dependence - but not on family or friends

Addiction is a complicated problem and is diverse in its causes and associated costs. An addiction controls your life, your thoughts and your choices. It is a compulsion that robs you of healthy options for coping with life challenges. When “enough is enough,” and you don’t want to be a prisoner to your problems, you can make a life-changing decision. You can create strategies to celebrate the happiness of the holidays without adding temptation to your life. You can, in fact, learn how to get your needs met without your destructive addiction. Take charge of your calendar and of your life. Take one of these steps today.

5 ways to face the holidays with an addiction:

• Recognize and admit your addiction

• Host a party where you set the rules

• Stay connected with healthy friends

• List benefits of overcoming your addiction

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